We have identified over 650 questions and answers concerning many of the topics featured on this site. The information is categorised and can be reached by navigating via the entries below.

Information can also be retrieved using the Search box. This will search through the entire list of FAQ entries (in the Title and the Body) and will return results based on a match based on the words you input. If you wish, you may enter complete questions, e.g. "What currency would we use in an independent Scotland".

Will Scotland replicate the three UK Security and Intelligence Agencies (MI5, MI6 and GCHQ)?

No. Scotland will need significant independent security and intelligence capacity to ensure its security. Independence offers an opportunity to build a new model for such work, that is fit for the 21st century and provides a proportionate means of ensuring Scotland’s national security.

On independence, the Scottish Government will set up a single security and intelligence agency for Scotland. The purpose of the agency will be set out in legislation, and will include the requirement to work with partners to ensure Scotland’s national security. Setting up the new body will allow us to do things differently, unconstrained by historical structures and precedent. We do not propose to replicate the current UK security and intelligence agencies (the Security Service, or MI5; the Secret Intelligence Service, or MI6; and GCHQ), although Scotland will continue to work very closely with them to ensure the security of Scotland and the rest of the UK.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will Scotland be able to protect itself against terrorist attacks?

Yes. Scotland will have the ability to protect our citizens as other independent countries do.

The primary responsibility of government is to ensure the security of its citizens and to protect them, their property and way of life against threats. An independent Scotland will have national security arrangements that reflect Scotland’s specific needs and values, recognising the risks and threats we face. It will be based on a full review of security requirements and on a regular assessment of threats.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Would an independent Scotland present an access route to the rest of the UK for crime and terrorism?

No. Scotland already plays an active part in the UK Counter Terrorism Strategy and, given that responsibility for policing and justice is already devolved to the Scottish Parliament, extensive cross-border co-operation on security is already a reality. The effectiveness of these arrangements was seen in the co-operation between Scottish police forces, the Security Service and the Metropolitan Police Service after the Glasgow Airport bombing. It will be in the mutual interests of Scotland and the rest of the UK to ensure that this cross-border co-operation continues following independence, supported by Police Scotland and a Scottish security and intelligence agency.

Under our proposals, an independent Scotland will remain part of the Common Travel Area with the rest of the UK and Ireland. As part of this, Scotland will maintain robust visa and immigration controls which will contribute to securing the external border against serious organised crime and terrorism. The arrangements to combat those seeking to exploit Scotland’s ports are already delivered by Police Scotland.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

How will an independent Scotland ensure it has the capacity and technology required to comprehensively protect Scottish interests at home and abroad?

An independent Scotland will have security arrangements that are proportionate, fit for purpose, and reflect a full strategic assessment of Scotland’s needs and the threats Scotland may face, in the same way as comparable nations. Scotland will have an independent security and intelligence agency which will work closely with Police Scotland and with the rest of the UK to share intelligence and co-ordinate responses to threats.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.

Will an independent Scotland benefit from shared intelligence from allies such as the rest of the UK or the USA?

It will be in the interests of the rest of UK and other partners to work closely with Scotland on security matters, including the sharing of intelligence.

Source: Scotland's Future, Scottish Government, November 2013.